UPDATE 1-BTG Pactual to keep full ownership of GEMM hedge fund -asset management CEO
(Adds background, performance data)
By Carolyn Cohn
LONDON Jan 29 (Reuters) - BTG Pactual's flagship global macro hedge fund will remain 100 percent owned by BTG, with the same investment team and an independent board, the chief executive of the Brazilian bank's fund arm said on Friday.
The bank cut about 18 percent of its Brazil-based staff on Thursday aiming to rein in costs by 25 percent in the wake of the arrest of billionaire founder André Esteves.
There had been uncertainty about the future of the $4 billion fund, with industry sources saying BTG Pactual had been considering a sale or management buy-out of the fund.
The bank had extended a deadline for investors to choose whether to redeem funds until this week, from an original deadline of mid-December.
"We have informed investors that GEMM (global emerging markets and macro fund) will remain 100 percent owned by BTG, now within a separate legal entity, rather than just a business unit, with an independent board to ensure even better transparency and continued good governance," Steve Jacobs, BTG Pactual Asset Management's chief executive, told Reuters in an email.
"The investment team, middle and back office remains unchanged," he said.
The macro fund posted returns of 5.32 percent last year, performance data seen by Reuters showed, outperforming many rivals. Among its holdings, the fund had Greek and Ukrainian debt, both of which rose sharply last year.
BTG Pactual told investors that GEMM had "significantly reduced its risk exposure" and would continue to do so, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters last month.
(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Simon Jessop and Jason Neely)
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